Disturbing footage emerges in Karen Ristevski mystery
DISTURBING new footage and evidence have come to light in the
murder mystery, as police say they are confident they are closing in on the killer.
The suspicious footage, released by Channel Nine, show Vasko Ristevski - the brother of Ms Ristevski's husband, Borce Ristevski - lurking near the site where the 47-year-old mother's body was found wedged between two giant logs at Mount Macedon, 65 kilometres northwest of Melbourne.
The Channel Nine news crew was in the isolated bush to film a story about the progress of the case when they spotted Ms Ristevski's brother-in-law heading back towards his truck.
This strange chance meeting also comes as an iPad containing ominous Google searches was seized from the Avondale Heights home of Ms Ristevski and her husband. According to the Herald Sun, the iPad's search history includes Google searches on how police can detect traces of blood, how mobile phone data can be deleted, and how police might track phones.
Ms Ristevski went missing on June 29 last year from her luxury home in Avondale Heights in Melbourne's northwest.
Her husband Borce Ristevski said she left the house to clear her head about 10am after they had an argument over money.
This week police also identified a car of the same make and model as Ms Ristevski's in CCTV footage, driving towards an area near where she was found dead on February 20.
The 47-year-old's body was discovered wedged between the trunks of two fallen trees off Loch Road at Mount Macedon in Melbourne's northwest. Police would not comment on whether they knew the cause of death, but it is being treated as a homicide.
Police have identified a black Mercedes-Benz SLK coupe, the same as Ms Ristevski's, driving northwest along Old Calder Highway over a railway crossing in the northwest Melbourne suburb of Diggers Rest at 11.12am on the day she disappeared.
Police believe the car is similar to the one which belonged to Ms Ristevski. There are several hundred of those cars in Victoria, but detectives have eliminated the majority of owners from being in that area the day Ms Ristevski disappeared.
Inspector Tim Day said police had less than 20 car owners to speak to before they could determine the car belonged to Ms Ristevski.
Police said they explored a possible route to Ms Ristevski's burial area but would not give more detail. They also would not confirm if they had collected more footage.
Insp Day said Ms Ristevski's husband Borce, who has maintained his innocence, was still a person of interest. "Yes he is a suspect, I won't go into if there are others," Insp Day said. "What makes him a suspect I'll leave others to judge why."
Mr Ristevski said he drove his wife's car the day she disappeared to test a faulty fuel gauge.
He said the fuel gauge fixed itself when he drove over a bump near the Calder Park Raceway.
Mercedes mechanics however told Fairfax Media the expensive car was "not an FJ Holden" and it would not have been fixed by a jolt.
"I have been dealing with Mercedes for more than 35 years and I have never heard of this," Nick Theodossi, of Nick Theodossi Prestige Cars, said.
Pings from Mr and Ms Ristevski's mobile phones had also been detected by transmitter towers along Melbourne's Calder Highway on the day of her disappearance. Ms Ristevski's mobile phone was reportedly tracked near Gisborne, 40km northwest of the family home. The data also revealed that Mr Ristevski's mobile phone was switched off for about two hours that day.
Detectives last year also took CCTV footage from 60 cameras at two service stations at Calder Park and studied video from Toolern Vale General Store. Insp Day would not comment on Mr Ristevski's statement in relation to driving his wife's car to test the fuel gauge. "I'm aware that's what his version of events are," he said.
Speaking to media on Friday, Insp Day said he was not concerned this case would go unsolved and investigators were motivated by the truth. "I have every confidence in the missing person squad investigators and every confidence it's a matter of time," Insp Day said. "The person who did this has a story to tell and only gets one chance."
Police are calling for anybody to come forward who may have seen the black Mercedes-Benz SLK coupe, fitted with Mercedes-Benz manufactured 5 spoke alloy wheels driving northwest on the Old Calder Freeway on June 29.
Detectives also want to hear from anyone who may have been in the Diggers Rest, Gisborne or Mount Macedon areas - particularly in the vicinity of the Macedon Regional Park, the Mount Macedon Gold Club and Mount Macedon Road - about midday on the day of Ms Ristevski's disappearance, and may have seen the car.
Police are asking owners or drivers of black 2004 to 2006 Mercedes-Benz coupes to contact police.
The Mercedes was the last of six vehicles seen driving close together on the Old Calder Freeway the morning Ms Ristevski disappeared.
The other vehicles were a white Ford Ranger single-cab ute towing a yellow mini-excavator, a black Holden Commodore ute, a maroon Nissan Patrol four-wheel-drive wagon, a white Honda Jazz wagon and a silver Kia Rio wagon.
Police hope to speak to the drivers of these vehicles or anyone who recognises any of the cars in the footage.
Anybody with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.